Nancy McElwain's directory photo.

Nancy McElwain

Research Affiliate

Primary Affiliation

Biologically Informed Artificial Intelligence


Status Part-time Faculty

Home Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Phone 244-7168


Address 1612 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Dr. Nancy McElwain is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois, Dr. McElwain received a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Her research focuses on social and emotional development during the first five years of life. In particular, Dr. McElwain investigates the dynamic early-life interactions between parents and children that shape children’s developing abilities to regulate stress. She adopts an interdisciplinary approach that combines neuroscience, psychophysiology, linguistics, and developmental psychology.

    Dr. McElwain teaches courses on behavioral research methods and social-emotional development, and she currently serves on the Editorial Board of the American Psychologist.


    • Ph.D., psychology, University of Michigan, 1999

  • Research

    Research Interests:

    • Physiological and neural correlates of infant-mother attachment

    • Emotion-related dynamics of parent-child interactions

    • Maternal speech prosody and children's stress regulation

    • Parental socialization of emotion

    • Family-friend linkages and children's social-emotional competence